Collection centres open in UAE for flood-hit Kerala
Dubai - Many parts of the state was limping back to normalcy when nature's fury struck again this year.
Expats from the Indian state of Kerala in the UAE are joining hands to support the thousands of displaced families in their flood-hit state.
After one of the worst flooding in its history last year, many parts of the state was limping back to normalcy when nature's fury struck again this year. Heavy rainfall and landslides in northern districts of Wayanad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kasargod and Kannur have so far killed more than 70 people and pushed thousands to relief camps.
Though far away from the tragedy, Malayalees who form the biggest Indian expat community in the UAE, are setting up collection points to collect relief materials for the affected.
Taking the lead is the UAE chapter of Voice of Humanity, a group of around 50 stage artists from Kerala. Popular movie artists like Tiny Tom, Nadir Shah and Guinness Pakru are the patrons of the organisation in Kerala.
Shoukky Sulaiman, joint secretary of the group, said three collection centres have been set up in Dubai."We are mainly collecting cloths, hygiene items for ladies and kids, toiletries, slippers and some food items like oats and biscuits."
Residents can donate these items at Pablo café on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dhe Putt restaurant in Karama, Tamarind Terrace in Al Qusais, Wide Range restaurant in Muhaisina 4, Golden Tasty restaurant in Al Barsha or Star Grills restaurant in Bur Dubai.
Sulaiman said the group has assessed the needs based on the feedback feed of their members in India who are coordinating rescue and relief operations in various camps.
"We will be sending the collected items by cargo, which will be personally received by our members. We are all trying to do whatever we can."
Bicky Boss, another member, said he is leaving for Kerala on Tuesday to help in the distribution of relief materials.
"The response is lukewarm this time around. As artists, we are reaching out to people, urging them to rise above petty politics and religious differences at this hour."
Abu Dhabi-based expat organisation Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre has also set up collection centre at the Indian Islamic Centre and residents are urged to donate blankets, mats, bedsheet, toiletriers, cleaning materials, milk powder and biscuits among other things.
Many expats have taken to social media to share their contribution to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund and urging others to follow suit.